These past couple of weeks in Visual Design class at Brigham Young University-Idaho have been devoted to the creation of two advertisements for a randomly generated product and a randomly generated target audience. We were to select a brand that produces the product we are advertising, and design an ad using Adobe Photoshop. The requirements for the ad included the use of at least 2 legally obtained photographs blended together in some way, the company logo, a creative headline, a 1-2 sentence body copy, and a call to action. Furthermore, the ads were to be symbolic representation as opposed to literal. in other words, we were to create something that would be impossible to photograph.
The product/audience generator determined I would advertise rubber bands to single females, aged 45-54, with PHD’s or Master’s Degrees, who make 60-89K, and enjoy magazines and social media. The randomly generated media preferences determined the size of the advertisements we had to create.
For the Magazine preference, I created a half-page ad, sized 8.5″ x 5.5” with 250 ppi.
For the Social Media preference, I created a Facebook static ad, sized 400px by 209px with 72 ppi.
These ads would appeal to my target audience, I feel, because the bright purple color of the background would capture their attention and draw their curiosity. The main picture is accessible, easily understood within seconds. I think they would appreciate how the headline matches the message of the picture. Furthermore, I think they would be able to relate, in a way, because a single, middle-aged woman’s life in the workforce can be quite hectic, and they may sometimes feel like their world is held together by only a few strings.
I began by searching for photographs of the product to see if it might spark any ideas. I found a picture of a rubber band ball, and wondered how I could use it in a design. Two thoughts occurred to me: that rubber bands are everywhere and that they hold things together. I thought about how to make this idea symbolic and non-literal. Rubber bands hold everything together. What if they held EVERYTHING together?
I found a picture of the Earth and set to work. I tried a few things to make it look like the rubber bands were surrounding the Earth. I tried laying the rubber band ball over the picture of the Earth and deleting the bits I didn’t want with the auto-select and the magic wand tools. It was very time-consuming and didn’t work very well anyway, so after about 15 minutes, I decided to try something else. I finally found success when I placed the Earth over the rubber band ball, placed a mask on the Earth, and blanked out the parts of it that were covering some of the stronger, more prominent rubber bands.
After this, I had to find a background. I didn’t want to go with plain old boring space, so i found a very nice photo of a deep purple space with the perfect splotch of white light over which to place my Earth. I added my text bit by bit and aligned them all to the right. I made the conscious decision to keep the wording in the headline and the call to action lowercase. It seemed a bit more uniform and streamlined, I thought.
I’d had the idea for the current headline, and thought it was alright, but reconsidered and changed it to something like “Without us, your world would fall apart.” Then, when I saw on the Alliance Rubber Company’s website the exact words I’d originally considered, “Holding your world together,” I knew I had to change it back.
All of this was for the larger ad– the half-page magazine ad. Transferring it to the Facebook ad was a simple copy-and-paste job. I merely resized the pictures and text and realigned them to fit on the smaller space. For a little bit of contrast, I moved the Earth to the right side and aligned the text to the left. There was not room in the smaller ad to include the body copy.
There we have it! An advertisement for rubber bands. There’s something you don’t see every day!
There were some spots of difficulty, but overall, I enjoyed learning to use Photoshop. Personally, I still find Illustrator easier and more accessible, but I was glad for the opportunity to develop skills in Photoshop. It’ll be a useful skill to have out in the working world.